Hello everyone! My name is Holly, and I am a Broke-Ass Bride.

I guess it’s important that before we get going on the creativeness and the snarkyness, you get to know the woman behind it.

I’m in my late 20’s, I’m a graduate student, and I live in a large city in Canada with my fiance and my our dog. I love cooking, baking, yoga, hiking, and arts and crafts. Because of my enjoyment of hands-on stuff like that, I plan to DIY a lot of my wedding decor. I’m also going to attempt to make my own wedding cake. I’ve also already been told by at least five people that I shouldn’t do that and it’s a terrible idea! Anyways, I’ll go over that in more detail in my future posts.

Before we get into all that, however, I’d like to share a bit about my dearly betrothed. Evan and I met at a party back in 2005 when we were both in high school. His best friend in elementary school went on to become my best friend in high school, and when he realized that we would be well suited together, he schemed to set us up. Unfortunately, we were both dating other people at the time. However, we chatted and exchanged instant-messaging contact information. A year later, with the worst time possible, we found ourselves both single, the very same week that he moved to another city to start university. After a lot of flirting online, we thought we might try to date long-distance. It was awesome, but we broke up after a couple months. Still, several times over the next six years, we’d find ourselves in the same city, with sparks flying, but the timing was never right. Finally, after we both finished undergrad, he ended up in our hometown for the summer, and we decided to give it another try. Exactly four years later, we had moved twice (once for grad school, once for a job), started careers, got a dog, travelled the world, and he was down on one knee asking me to spend the rest of my life with him. I agreed. We’ve only begun planning our wedding, but we know it will be in the fall of 2017, and that it’s going to both bad-ass, broke-ass and super romantic-ass.

Speaking of ass, here’s the happy couple:

See you soon, BABs!


  • 9/30

    Affiliate Disclaimer New

    Marathon Runner Cake Topper by Clayphory
    Marathon Runner Cake Topper, $205 by Etsy seller Clayphory
    Pre-post disclaimer: If you’re looking for fitspiration, you’ve come to the wrong place. This is not a post about losing weight, working out, or changing your appearance for your wedding day. Instead, this post contains tips to (hopefully) keep you from passing out on your wedding day. These are general tips, not medical advice. As always, consult your doctor or nutritionist to discuss your individual health needs.
    Unless you’re an athlete, you might not be up on the science around fueling your bod for the marathon that is your Wedding Day. (It will feel like you’ve been running, even if a jog is not on your agenda.) Weddings are strenuous — waking up early for hair and makeup, dressing in potentially heavy and restrictive clothing, and standing, sitting, greeting guests and dancing through the wee hours. You’ll be on your feet for most of the day, probably with very little down time, and you’ll need to treat your body with some extra TLC.
    So that you stay on your game and fend off the hangries, I’ve put together a list of tips to keep you fueled for the festivities!
    Bride Water Bottle by ModParty
    Bride Water Bottle, $12 by Etsy seller ModParty

    1. HYDRATE

    Guys, that’s in all caps for a reason. Even if you won’t be drinking alcohol and your wedding day isn’t scorching hot, you’ll still need to drink plenty of water to feel your best. If you’re not one to tote around a sports bottle, assign your MOH or other brides-bestie to Hydration Duty. Make a fancy, decorated Bride’s Bottle if it helps (one with a built in straw, or bring plenty of your own to decrease lipstick reapplications) and keep it filled with cool water. Infuse with mint, lemon or lime, and sip (don’t chug!) throughout the day. Remember, though, that all beverages contain a bit of water, as do fruits, veggies and soups so you can also reach your hydration goals by snacking on some of those.

    2. Power Up With Protein

    You don’t have to be an athlete to reap the benefits of a protein-packed breakfast! Before dressing in your gown, eat a high-protein breakfast for energy that lasts. (And another link for vegetarian / vegan high-protein breakfasts.If you’ve got a nervous stomach, try nibbling on toast until your appetite kicks in, then eat slowly. Stop eating when you’re full to avoid discomfort or an upset stomach. (Some gowns fit snugly in the bodice, so give yourself time to digest before dressing.) And for a bonus, combine your caffeine kick with breakfast in coffee oatmeal, an oatmeal latte, or a coffee smoothie! (Coffee smoothie = brewed coffee + protein powder + banana + ice + whatever else your heart desires) 
    Some more high-protein breakfast ideas:

    3. Snack Strategically

    Wedding planners (like me!) aren’t immune to the rumbly tummies, either. When I’m working an 8-12+ hour wedding day, I bring along my own quick snacks so I can keep going — without starving. My top picks are snacks that satisfy hunger, keep me energized, are easily consumed on the go (finger foods), and are resistant to changes in temperature. For wedding parties, I recommend choosing snacks that are also low risk for staining formal attire. Here’s my quick list of generally gown-and-tux-safe wedding snacks (but always use caution when eating while dressed!):

    • pretzels
    • shelled nuts — almonds, cashews, peanuts (nuts have oils and might have added oil or salt, so wash hands after eating!)
    • baby carrots (dip in peanut butter for extra protein — but be extra careful with messy dips!)
    • pre-packaged apple slices
    • whole banana
    • green grapes (try frozen, if it’s hot out)
    • dried or dehydrated fruit — raisins, banana chips, apricots (might be sticky or stain, so wash hands!)
    • Babybel cheese (can remain unrefrigerated for 2-4 hours, according to their website)
    • fruit leather (might be sticky — keep hands on the wrapper!) — try kombucha, strawberry balsamic, or apricot
    • protein or granola bars (might melt or be sticky — keep hands on the wrapper!)
    • nonperishable, gelatin-based candies
    • dry cereal (like Cheerios or Golden Grahams)
    • mints (the hard candy kind, not the soft, melty kind)

    And some other supplies to keep in your snack kit:

    • baby wipes
    • straws
    • toothpicks
    • bottle opener
    • stain remover — stick or wipes
    • napkins or paper towels
    • trash bag

    Stash these snacks in easy access places: your bag (if you’re using one), the MOH’s bag, with your wedding planner or venue coordinator, in the bridal suite, in the limo, under the head table… You get the idea. 😉

    4. Eat Dinner Like It’s Your Last Supper

    If there’s one thing I tell every couple I meet, it’s to make sure they eat at their reception. It sounds simple enough, and most couples take it for granted. The truth is that there’s always something (wedding portraits) or someone (Great Aunt Edith) demanding your time. But keeping your belly full isn’t the only reason eating at your wedding is important. It’s also important to know the quality of the food your guests have received, and because it gives you a tiny bit of semi-private time with your new spouse. Take your time, and enjoy your meal!

    I’ve got two main strategies for protecting your sacred supper time:

    • Schedule it – Block that time out in your wedding day itinerary and build in plenty of buffer before and after, so that the other important things (greeting guests, photos, dancing) are also given the time they deserve without disrupting dinner.
    • Create a boundary or a distraction – Whether you eat on an elevated stage or on the dance floor, a bit of distance between the couple and the guests will deter some people from interrupting your dinner. If you don’t have that option in your space, give guests something to do while you’re eating. (They may not have food yet; you and your partner should eat before the guests.) Appetizers, bread, or salads will keep them at their seats, or you can place paper-based games like trivia or Mad Libs at each table, or make photo collages of yourselves to use as centerpieces, and include a few captions for interest.

    5. Ask for a Doggie Bag

    Although everyone’s different, it’s not uncommon for couples to feel hungry at the end of a long wedding day. Some caterers won’t accommodate this request, but many will set aside leftover food for the couple to take back to their wedding suite. If your caterer won’t pack up some snacks for you to go, bring your own and leave them in the limo or with your maid of honor or one of the mothers for safe keeping until the end of the night — or schedule a food truck to arrive for late night snacks, or make a fast food run on the way back to your suite.

    6. Watch What You Drink

    Gettin’ real for a minute: No one wants vomit on their wedding gown or tux. NO ONE — including you. To prevent that, follow the above tips and also monitor your alcohol intake on your wedding day (and the night before). A good rule of thumb is to have one glass of water per alcoholic drink. (Remember that Bride’s Bottle above? Use it at your reception, too!) While that might mean more trips to the restroom, at least those trips won’t require any hair holding. Generally speaking, whatever your usual alcohol intake is for a night out, drink less than that if you want to enjoy your wedding day. (And bonus: You might even get to enjoy your wedding night.)

    – Party on!


    Planning a wedding in Northeast Ohio? Here’s where you can find me for wedding planning assistance.

  • 9/29

    Ashi Studio S_S 2015

    Man, oh man, today's CAI/GOI post may be the most challenging request we've had yet! Reader Teneasha commented on this post with: "I need help. I've never seen a bridal gown that felt like the gown for me. I'm starting to lower my expectations to a gown that is slimming because there's no way that I can afford my dream gown that's rumored to be…

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    Dudes, let’s face it. When it comes to saving money for your wedding, every single penny counts. One of the easiest ways to trim down your budget is to cut down the costs of small things, like fashion accessories. Our friends over at The Tie Bar have an immense assortment of pieces for guys, in a wide range of options. Here’s a list of items…

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  • 9/22

    Allure Couture C243

    Hey BABs! Thanks so much for hanging in there as we work our way through all the requests for help with finding alternate gowns. While you're waiting for us to get to your request, don't forget that you can use the search bar in the upper right to see posts we've written about your gown's designer, or just pop in "can't afford it" to see all the…

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    Danielle Invites 2

    As a DIY, oh-so-poor bride, I have always planned on making my own invitations. I have been fussing with designs, envelopes, and patterns for about two years solid. I even went through a phase where I planned on having an Etsy shop to give brides invitations on the cheap. Then I realized I have no artistic ability. Sadly, that’s kind of a prerequisite for being a…

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    It's kind of a no-brainer when it comes to saving money -- full open bars are a huge money sink. Not only are they expensive, but if you're DIYing the B-A-R, you have the impossible task of reading people's mind to figure out just how much gin, tequila and bourbon you need to have ready to serve up. In general, the fewer choices you have,…

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  • 9/19

    Real Bride Heather: Bump in the road

    Remember when I found the perfect venue, knew it was a wicked awesome deal, but I was scared to pull the trigger and sign the contract? I was terrified to sign up for spending about $7,500 bucks in fear that something would happen and we would need that money for other things. Well, if there's one thing that I have learned in life, trust your gut!…

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